Prince of Wales Visits Programme Marshall at RAF Air Traffic Control Centre
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales visited the air traffic control tower at Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby in Lincolnshire on Friday 18 November. The Prince was visiting the station to hear about Programme Marshall, the £1.5 billion programme being led by Aquila to upgrade and support the MOD’s terminal air traffic management capability in the UK and overseas.
Prince William, who is Honorary Air Commandant at the station, was visiting to see Programme Marshall in action at the RAF’s new Lincolnshire Terminal Air Traffic Control Centre (TATCC).
As part of Programme Marshall, Aquila is enabling nearby RAF airfields to be controlled from a single control room based at RAF Coningsby. Aquila is introducing new technology at RAF Coningsby and surrounding stations to enable the new facility.
Squadron Leader Kirsti Fordham, the RAF Lincolnshire TATCC Commander, welcomed His Royal Highness to the control centre. Squadron Leader Fordham, explained:
“The introduction of these advanced systems will provide us with increased capacity, flexibility and reliability to support military flying; now and into the future.
“Programme Marshall is a game changer in the way we deliver air traffic services in the busy Lincolnshire area.”
Aquila’s Lincolnshire Regional Maintenance team were on hand to welcome the Prince to the control centre, alongside Squadron Leader Fordham.
The Prince of Wales also opened RAF Coningsby’s new boxing club at the station.
Programme Marshall includes a £400 million investment by the MOD in new air traffic management systems worldwide. These are expected to improve reliability and longevity of military air traffic control systems. The integrated systems being introduced by Aquila include advanced air surveillance radars and technology as well as new navigation and controller-aircraft communication systems.
Aquila is supporting the equipment at more than 60 MOD sites across the UK and in Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. Aquila’s support consolidates and further improves air traffic management services to the Armed Forces.
Programme Marshall is expected to save the Defence budget approximately £317 million over the course of the programme.